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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the first book I ever read on computer and
was prepared to dislike it even though the price is the lowest I have paid for a book since Amboy Dukes. I was prepared to dislike it because its title is so derivative (which is to say somebody else is using it). But the author produces the best advertising blog, one of the few that doesn't bubble over with bloggorrhea or self-congratulation and the book is really an...
Published on July 21, 2011 by Tom Messner

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and edited
I don't know if the actual book was edited any better than the Kindle version, but it was so laden with typos and bad grammar, it was as if it was published with no editing whatsoever. I couldn't finish it.
Published 23 months ago by KttyMew


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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This was the first book I ever read on computer and, July 21, 2011
By 
Tom Messner (Palm Beach FL USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
was prepared to dislike it even though the price is the lowest I have paid for a book since Amboy Dukes. I was prepared to dislike it because its title is so derivative (which is to say somebody else is using it). But the author produces the best advertising blog, one of the few that doesn't bubble over with bloggorrhea or self-congratulation and the book is really an uncondensed, unvarnished version of that blog. He captures the period (1960s to 1980s in the advertising business) perfectly and demonstrates that the business prior to public offerings, mergers, consolidation, media buying separated from the creative and production of work, quarterly statements, worldwide pitches run by new business consultants was, if not better, at least one in which the largesse which now goes into management fees to senescent HQs used to go into perfectly shaken martinis, bonuses for the proletariat, and suites with turn down service for the traveling copywriters. If the author seeks absolution through his Confessions, this reader has a perfect penance: three Our Fathers and three Beefeater Martinis with a twist shaken to cold perfection.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Douchenozzles Beware, August 5, 2011
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker has a lived a Hemingway-like life in Advertising. He even looks like the guy, from the grizzled beard right on down to the even more grizzled liver.

So it's nice to hear that there was a time when life in Advertising wasn't always about wage freezes and downsizing.

"Confessions" is about a lot of things: It's about breaking into the business. It's about surviving the business. And it's about finding a way to get the hell out of the business. It's also about the most enjoyable book you'll ever read on the subject.

The thing that makes this book so much fun to read is George himself. He's the first to admit the advertising business has, and never has had much integrity. No, what gets his goat is that money-grubbing holding companies have ransacked the very industry that allowed him, nay, paid him dearly to booze, womanize, travel -- and when he wasn't doing that -- create great advertising for a living.

George also takes no prisoners. His assault on a business that has been pillaged by rich and greedy bean counters who have more in common with flesh eating bacteria than they do with actual humans is a thing of beauty.

At the same time, George's sympathies for the Creatives that are sacrificed by gross mismanagement and narcissism are real. And he's genuinely sad that they will never have the outrageous (and oft times illicit) experiences that he had coming up through the ranks. That's the softer side of George -- if calling the Chairman of one of advertising's largest holding companies, The Poisoned Dwarf, can be considered soft.

All in all, this is a great, entertaining read for anyone in the industry or outside. Oh, and if by chance you find yourself skewered in this book, my advice is to just suck it up and move on. There's no insult or profanity you can hurl at him that he hasn't at some point already hurled at himself -- and more colorfully, I might add.

Confessions of a Mad Man
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars USP's, BDA's, and The Poisoned Dwarf ... an advertising primer for the curious, August 11, 2011
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker is many things to many people: seasoned copywriter, advertising survivor, blogger...
but in this book, he is a storyteller, and not one of the Aesops Fables 'alls well that ends well' variety. This is more like Phillip K Dick storytelling ...
bad people doing bad things storytelling, the kind that rivets you to your seat, book, Kindle, iPad - whatever - firmly gripped in sweaty hands.

But he tells this tale with such ease and humor that it makes the advertising world seem like a fun place to be. And that's where he gets you ...
amidst all the romping across the globe to shoot spots for bidet cleansers, late night bull session carousing, and exacerbating round table campaign meetings, he carefully delivers the point:
it's a hard way to make a living, populated by an interesting assortment of characters, most of them rather incompetent yet powerful, and you.

A thoroughly enjoyable read for practitioner or apprentice alike, I'll close with 3 good reasons to read this book:

1: He's been there
2: He's done that
3: He's lived to tell the tale accurately and amusingly ...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly written and edited, March 3, 2013
By 
KttyMew (Memphis, TN) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
I don't know if the actual book was edited any better than the Kindle version, but it was so laden with typos and bad grammar, it was as if it was published with no editing whatsoever. I couldn't finish it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bio of A Rockstar Mad Man, January 7, 2013
This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker's book is a rollicking tale revealing what the Mad Men (in the popular TV series, or "Advertising Men" in Ogilvy parlance) were up to beyond the "drama" in the office. Often this type of book is the gospel of the managing partner at the ad agency as part of their campaign to be acquired by a larger agency. That's not this book - it would be at home right next to your biographies of Keith Richards, Mick Jagger or other Rockers leaving a trail of alcohol, cocaine, ruined vehicles, and one hell of a good time.

Disclaimer: like many rock bios the language is not safe for work. Mr. Parker clearly calls out the f***tards, dou*** nozzles and wank3rs (Amazon tolerates no profanity in reviews) with no fear. Anyone in Advertising or Marketing is well familiar with the tired statement that "half of all your marketing spend is wasted, you just can't tell which half." This book makes it clear (and the author has no problem telling his major accounts) that more like 90% of it is wasted, much of it on booze, 5 Star restaurants and junkets around the globe to capture video for 30 second spots, the majority of which ends up on the cutting room floor.

This is a fantastic book covering an amazing expanse - from his riding over to the US via ocean liner and meeting Ogilvy himself to get into the industry, through a stint back in Europe as "Agency Fireman" back to the Bay Area during the pre-internet explosion fueled by Dell, Compaq, Larry Ellison, the first coming of Jobs, and others. The stories are humorous and astounding - my favorite was the author, his buddy, and his pilot getting drunk and crashing their plane into the ocean and nearly dying while trying to get a shot for a cookie ad. Wrapping up with commentary on social media and the future of the industry, this is the most entertaining book you'll find on the subject.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended, July 24, 2011
This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker, one of the few surviving original "Mad Men", tells us everything there is to know about the advertising business in the 60s and 70s and what went wrong from the 80s onwards.

The reader is being treated to `The most expensive TV shoot in the history of advertising', awkward clients, old heroes like David Ogilvy and Howard Gossage as well as fabulous restaurants in Europe and the States - George Parker has seen it all, he was there when it happened.

There are many books about advertising around and this won't be the last, but it is certainly one of the best. Whoever is interested in the golden era of advertising (and doesn't mind a few expletives on the way) should read this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hold back, George, July 24, 2011
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker has been in the advertising business a long time. He was part of the British Golden Days, The Mad Madison Avenue years, and even got out to Silicon Valley to weigh in on the internet tsunami that over took the communications world. This man has been around! He also apparently paid attention to the changes that were taking place around him as the big fish, ate the middle sized fish, that ate the small fishies and was not shy to point out the end product that naturally results from all that eating. While his dislikes are many and names are named, his anger is not misplaced. For those of us who have worked in or around the business of advertising all of our lives and loved it, times have indeed changed, people have been forced out, eager young social media savants have taken their place and...well it's the same thing that happens everywhere if something is going to survive. It evolved. George's book should be read by anyone who lived through these changes over the past 40 years not simply for nostalgia but for empathy. It should also be read by those internet/techie/newbies who are looking not for a big idea, but to create an interactive, total experience between the consumer and his toilet tissue. Mostly, its interesting to see how this business started as the wild, wild west and how time, money and stockholders tamed it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Martini's and Douchnozzles, June 12, 2013
This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
After discovering George Parker's blog and quickly becoming a huge fan of his writing it was only natural to buy this book. Confessions of a Mad Man is a great read and as a fan of advertising, I fell in love with the stories and escapades of George, THE One and Only Mad Man! George your next book should be called, "You Can't Make This S*** Up"
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5.0 out of 5 stars Flew right through this book, February 18, 2013
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
Love'd it. And thats why I gave it 5 stars. George knows how to tell a story. This was my first Kindle Edition book too.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun autobiography of life as an advertising creative, November 13, 2012
By 
George Pytlik (The spectacular Pacific Northwest) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Confessions of a Mad Man (Kindle Edition)
George Parker spins a very entertaining tale of his life in advertising during the earlier days of modern advertising, covering the same time period as much of the Mad Men television series.

Parker's writing style is light and fresh, written the way he talks, with nothing to hide and no holds barred. It may have helped to hold back just a little. Names were mentioned that perhaps didn't really need to be mentioned, since we might have found it more entertaining to try and guess who he meant. If you're skittish about swearing, avoid this book, because it is laced full of the f-word. While some of that usage was meant to be funny -- and was, at times -- it became tiresome. I was actually annoyed by the overly gratuitous use of foul language, as I felt the book would have been more effective with about 80% less of that, but it was an enjoyable read overall and often laugh-out-loud funny.

Having witnessed many of the same conditions and issues, though coming into the field some 20 years after Parker, I could relate to his experiences and his frustrations with corporate waste and stupidity. Parker's observations about the evolution of advertising are priceless, and I agree with his assertion of where it is headed.

If you're looking for information about advertising itself, this isn't for you as you won't gain insights to producing great advertising. You'll discover some of the processes that take place during the creation of advertising, but no technical insights, and that's exactly the right approach for a book of this nature. However, the final few chapters are a little more introspective and I found them quite valuable. If you're an advertising creative, you'll probably enjoy this.
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Confessions of a Mad Man
Confessions of a Mad Man by George Parker
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